Stats & Info: Kevin Garnett

Keys to victory: Heat 94, Nets 82

May, 8, 2014
May 8
10:31
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Behind a strong defense, the Heat took a 2-0 series lead as Miami heads to Brooklyn.

LeBron James and Ray Allen outshined the Nets, but the Heat's defense was the story. Miami held Deron Williams scoreless, the Nets point guard's first game without points since 2006.

Heat lock down Nets, Williams

Williams did not score Thursday night for the first time in 702 regular-season and playoff games in which he played at least 15 minutes. The last time he didn't score was Jan. 30, 2006, when he played nine minutes against the Spurs.

Williams was 5 of 8 on jump shots in Game 1, as only three were contested by Heat defenders. On Thursday, all five of his jumpers were contested.

The Heat improved to 34-2 this season when holding their opponent to an effective field goal percentage of 50 percent or worse. The Nets' effective field goal percentage was 47 percent Thursday.




LeBron overcomes Pierce's D

James scored 22 points on 50 percent shooting. He has shot at least 50 percent in each game this postseason. But James struggled when defended by Paul Pierce.

James was 3 of 8 when guarded by Pierce (6 of 10 against all other players and in transition). James' average field goal distance against Pierce was 18 feet Thursday, nine feet farther than his average distance on his other attempts.

Allen outshines former teammates

Ray Allen has outscored his former teammates, Pierce and Kevin Garnett, 32-25 combined in the first two games of the series. Allen is shooting 61 percent from the floor compared with 35 percent for Pierce and Garnett.

Wall can't find shot, does find teammates

November, 20, 2013
11/20/13
1:19
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Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty ImagesJohn Wall's shooting slump continued, but his passing helped set up a Wizards win
One of the closest games of the night came in Washington as the Wizards took a four-point win against the Minnesota Timberwolves by outscoring the visitors 7-2 in the last minute.

For the 2nd time in his career, John Wall had 16 assists with just 1 turnover. He also did it on March 22, 2013. Since the start of last season the only other player with 16 assists in a game in which he had 1 or fewer turnovers was Rajon Rondo on Nov. 25, 2012.

Setting up his teammates allowed Wall to overcome yet another poor shooting night. The speedy point guard finished 5-17 from the field (29 percent). That makes three straight games and five of the last six in which Wall has shot below 30 percent from the field.

Wall’s shooting issues this season have come primarily when he keeps the ball on pick-and-roll plays (32 FG pct) and in isolation (19 FG pct).

Big Love
Kevin Love
Love
Not to be overshadowed in the loss for the Timberwolves was yet another big game out of Kevin Love, who is showing no ill effects from last season’s right hand and left knee injuries.

After scoring 25 points Monday, Love has 320 points on the season through 12 games – just 10 points shy of his total from all of last season when he was limited to 18 games.

This was Love’s fifth game this season in which he had at least 25 pts, 10 boards and four assists. The only other player with more than one such game is Paul Millsap who has done it twice.

Love leads the NBA with 10 games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season.

This is the second season that Kevin Love has had ten 20-point, 10-rebound games in his team’s first 12 games of a season. The only other player over the last 25 years to do that twice is Karl Malone. The only others to do it once are Kevin Garnett, Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson.

After loss, free agency could end Celtics era

June, 10, 2012
6/10/12
4:19
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The Boston Celtics fell short of the NBA Finals for the second straight season, bowing out to the Miami Heat in back-to-back seasons. With Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen entering free agency, is this the end of an era in Boston?

Possible players on the move
Garnett is an unrestricted free agent after making $21.2 million this season. He turned 36 last month, but was the key for the Celtics on both ends of the court this postseason.

In the 737 minutes he was on the court in the playoffs, the Celtics outscored opponents by 138 points. They were outscored by 118 points in the 238 minutes he was off the floor. That wasn’t a fluke, as the Celtics were +267 with Garnett on the floor during the regular season compared to -101 with him on the bench.

Allen is also an unrestricted free agent this summer and will turn 37 years old in July. He wasn’t as productive in the playoffs this year as he was the past four years. He averaged nearly 17 points in 39 minutes per game from 2008-11, but in 2012 those numbers declined by six points and five minutes.

Brandon Bass, who just finished his first season with the Celtics, has a $4 million player option for next season. Bass set career highs this season, averaging 32 minutes, 13 points and six rebounds per game.

Even if they have played their last game together, Paul Pierce, Garnett and Allen have already cemented their legacy in Boston. This is the fourth memorable era in Celtics history.

1957-69
Red Auerbach failed to make the NBA Finals during his first six years as head coach of the Celtics, but Bill Russell’s arrival for the 1956-57 season was the beginning of one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. The Celtics went on to capture 11 championships during Russell’s 13-year career.

1972-76
After Russell’s retirement in 1969, the Celtics missed the playoffs in 1970 and 1971, but it wasn’t long before they were back on top again.

John Havlicek, Dave Cowens, and Jo Jo White helped lead Boston to titles in 1974 and 1976. The Celtics also made it to the Conference Finals in 1972, 1973 and 1975.

1980-92
Boston was eliminated in the Conference Semifinals in 1977 and missed the playoffs entirely the next two seasons, but Larry Bird landed in Boston for the 1979-80 season and the rest was history.

The Celtics made five NBA Finals appearances and won three titles during Bird’s 13-year career, which ended in 1992 with a 4-games-to-3 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Conference Semifinals.

2008-12
After experiencing a 21-season championship drought, Pierce, Garnett, and Allen guided the Celtics to a title during their first season together in 2008.

Garnett missed the playoffs the following year due to injury and the Celtics lost in the Conference Semifinals, but Boston made it back to the Finals in 2010, falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in a hard-fought seven game series.

The Celtics couldn’t get by the Heat the last two seasons, losing in five games in the 2011 Conference Semifinals and coming up just short this year in the Conference Finals.

Celtics have trouble closing series

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
12:21
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Steve Mitchell/US PresswireThe Celtics are just 11-13 since 2007-08 with the chance to clinch a series.
A veteran squad such as the Boston Celtics have plenty of experience in closing out series, and will have the opportunity to do so against the Miami Heat in Game 6 on Thursday (8:30 ET, ESPN). But the Celtics haven't been as successful as fans might think when it comes to eliminating opponents recently.

Since Boston's Big 3 (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen) formed entering the 2007-08 season, the Celtics have in fact struggled closing out postseason series. When having the opportunity to clinch, Boston is just 11-13 in those games over that span. This postseason, the Celtics are 2-2 in such games but just 0-2 in the first opportunity. The one silver lining, however, is that Boston is 9-2 in such chances at home.

LeBron James, however, has trailed 3-2 in a best-of-seven series four times in his postseason career. Each time, his team went on to lose the series, including suffering defeat at the hands of the Celtics twice. Only once out of those four times has a James-led team been able to force a Game 7.

What's more, James is usually at his postseason worst when trailing in a series. When his team is tied or leads the series, James is averaging 28.5 points per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the floor. Compare that to when his team trails the series; in those situations, James is putting up 27.4 points per game with a field goal percentage of just 42.8. His turnovers per game also increase from 3.2 to 5.3.

Miami now has Chris Bosh back in the lineup, but his addition did not help the Heat in Game 5, as they were outscored by 12 points in the 14 minutes with Bosh on the court. In addition, Miami was 20.8 percent from the floor with Bosh in the game and had more turnovers (seven) than field goals (five).

Game 1 crucial for both Celtics and Heat

May, 28, 2012
5/28/12
3:03
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Greg M. Cooper/US PresswireLeBron James averages 30.2 points in his postseason career in the Conference Finals.
The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat square off in Game 1 tonight (ESPN, 8:30 ET) in what is the third postseason meeting all-time between these two squads. Boston defeated Miami 4-1 in the 2010 First Round, while the Heat beat the Celtics last season 4-1 in the Conference Semifinals.

Tonight will be crucial, as the winner of Game 1 in the Conference Finals has gone on to win the series 80.0 percent (88-22) of the time in NBA history. The Celtics won the 2011-12 regular season series 3-1, but Mario Chalmers is the only one of the projected Game 1 starters to have started in all four meetings this season.

The Heat have performed well in these situations under coach Erik Spoelstra. According to Elias, Miami is 5-0 in playoff-series opening games at home under Spoelstra, and only four other head coaches in NBA history were 5-0 or better in series-opening home games: Doug Moe (8-0), Mike Dunleavy (6-0), Fred Schaus (5-0) and Bill Russell (5-0).

More good news for Heat fans: LeBron James averages 30.2 points in his postseason career in the Conference Finals, his highest scoring output of any postseason round. James has also averaged 27.1 points per game in 18 career postseason games against the Celtics.

Teammate Dwyane Wade has been even better against Boston, however. In 10 career postseason games, Wade averages 31.7 points against the Celtics, his highest against any team.

One aspect to watch for will be when the duo is in transition. James (72) and Wade (57) are ranked first and second in individual transition points this postseason, and the Heat are 7-0 this postseason when they score at least 14 transition points.

Boston, meanwhile, has had to combat history to even reach this stage in the playoffs. According to Elias, the Celtics are just the fourth team since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976-77 to make the Conference Finals after entering the All-Star break under .500. The last team to accomplish the feat was the Phoenix Suns in 1983-84 (lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 in the Conference Finals).

Much of the Celtics' postseason success has been thanks to Kevin Garnett, who has increased his offensive production this postseason. He is averaging a double-double, and has already recorded six games this postseason with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Teammate Rajon Rondo has also been key, having recorded at least 11 assists in nine of his 12 games this postseason. Rondo also has nine career postseason triple-doubles, second-most among active players and tied for the fourth-most all-time. Rondo's nine triple-doubles have all come in the last four postseasons, and are more than all other NBA players combined over that span (seven).

Celtics, 76ers no strangers to Game 7

May, 25, 2012
5/25/12
9:30
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Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images The Celtics and 76ers meet in a winner-take-all Game 7 in Boston on Saturday night.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics continue their storied playoff rivalry as they meet Saturday night (ABC, 8 ET) in Boston for the seventh all-time Game 7 between these franchises.

The Celtics own a 4-2 advantage in the previous six matchups, but the 76ers won the most recent game three decades ago in the 1982 Eastern Conference Finals.

Game 7 Stats To Know
History appears to be on the Celtics’ side as they are 17-4 all-time at home in Game 7s. They did lose their last such game in 2009 against the Orlando Magic, but they have never lost consecutive Game 7s at home. The Celtics are also 20-7 overall in Game 7s, the most such wins and second-best record in NBA history (min. five games).

The 76ers, on the other hand, are just 1-7 all-time on the road in Game 7s and haven’t played one since 1986. The franchise is 6-8 overall in Game 7s; the eight losses are tied for the most in NBA history.

Celtics Keys to the Game
The Celtics have yet to lose back-to-back games this postseason, having won all four contests following a loss. However, the Celts have not fared well trying to close out a series since the "Big 3" was formed entering the 2007-08 season. They are 10-13 in potential series clinchers (1-2 this postseason).

Kevin Garnett’s jump-shooting has kept the Celtics in this series. Garnett has made 26-of-55 (47 percent) jump shots from 15 feet and beyond. The rest of the Celtics have combined to shoot 30 percent from that distance this series.

The absence of Avery Bradley, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Friday, is significant for the Celtics, as it takes away their best five-man lineup this postseason.

When Bradley, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass and Garnett have been on the court together, the Celtics have outscored opponents by 53 points. Their next-best lineup has outscored opponents by only 18 points.

76ers Keys to the Game
Philadelphia is looking to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001 and is trying to become the first No. 8 seed to reach the conference finals since the Knicks in the lockout-shortened 1999 season.

However, they will need to overcome history in order to make it to the next round.

The 76ers have lost each of the last 13 best-of-seven series in which they have trailed 3-2. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest such streak in NBA history.

One of the deciding factors in this series has been the 76ers' ability to establish the pick and roll. In their three wins, they’re averaging 11 points running the pick and roll. In their three losses, they’re averaging eight points on 29 percent shooting.

Offense has been an issue in the playoffs for the 76ers, who are scoring 86.6 points per game, the fewest among remaining teams. The 76ers haven’t scored more than 92 points in their last 10 games, the longest single postseason streak of its kind since the Pistons in 2006 (11 games).

Road not kind to Celtics in clinching games

May, 23, 2012
5/23/12
2:20
PM ET

Issac Baldizon/Getty ImagesSince the “Big 3” era began in 2007-08, the Celtics are 2-10 in road games with a chance to close out a series. The rest of the NBA is 28-28 in such games.
The Boston Celtics visit the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night (ESPN, 8 ET) for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Boston leads the series 3-2 after its Game 5 win on Monday, but the 76ers are 4-0 this postseason in games immediately following a loss.

In NBA history, teams that have held a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven series have gone on to win the series 85.9 percent of the time (213-35). Teams with 3-2 series leads went 4-0 in the first round this postseason.

Since the new "Big 3" era began in the 2007-08 season, the Celtics are 2-10 in road games with a chance to close out a series. The rest of the NBA is 28-28 in such games.

Key Players
Kevin Garnett has increased his offensive production this postseason. He’s averaging a double-double with 19.3 PPG and 10.5 RPG, up from his regular season numbers of 15.8 PPG and 8.2 RPG. In addition, he’s shooting 52.1 percent from the floor in the playoffs, compared to 50.3 percent in the regular season.

The Celtics have outscored opponents by 136 points in the 403 minutes Garnett has been on the floor this postseason. Boston has been outscored by 85 points in the 130 minutes he’s been off the court.

Andre Iguodala is shooting 52.6 percent (10-for-19) from 3-point range but is shooting only 45.5 percent (10-for-22) from the free throw line in this series.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since the NBA instituted the 3-point shot in 1979-80, only two players have shot for a higher percentage from 3-point range than from the free throw line in a single playoff series (min. 15 attempts in each category). Tony Parker in the first round in 2004 (68.8 3-point pct; 68.2 free throw pct) and Rasheed Wallace in the first round in 2006 (54.2 3-point pct; 43.8 free throw pct).

Stats to Know
Boston has yet to allow 100 points this postseason. The Celtics are one of three teams that haven’t allowed 100 points in a single game this postseason, joining the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.

Since scoring 109 points against the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 of the first round, Philadelphia hasn’t scored more than 92 points in any of the nine games since. That is the longest single postseason streak of scoring fewer than 93 points since the Detroit Pistons (11 games) in 2006.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

Paul Pierce
Pierce
1. PIERCE AND KG LEAD THE WAY: Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined for 51 points as the Boston Celtics beat the Heat 115-107 in Miami. Boston shot 60.6 percent from the field, the highest allowed by the Heat in the “Big 3” era (last two seasons). The Celtics lead the league with 18 wins after the All-Star Break. They were just 15-17 before the break.

2. TWO UNDEFEATED TEAMS LEFT: After losses by the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Mets, the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks are the only undefeated teams remaining in MLB. The Tigers are 4-0 for the 1st time since 2006. That season, they made the World Series. The Diamondbacks are 4-0 for the 1st time in franchise history.

3. PETRINO OUT: Bobby Petrino is out as Arkansas head football coach. Petrino was 34-17 in 4 seasons at Arkansas. The 2011 Razorbacks finished with their highest AP Ranking since 1977 and tied a school-record with 11 wins. Their only losses were to the top-2 teams in the nation (Alabama and LSU).

4. PLAYOFF PUCK DROPS: The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin Wednesday with three games. The Vancouver Canucks won the President’s Trophy for the second straight season and they host the Los Angeles Kings in the quarterfinals. The Detroit Red Wings are in the playoffs for the 21st-straight season, the longest active streak in the four major pro sports. They open at Nashville. The Philadelphia Flyers-Pittsburgh Penguins series also begins Wednesday. Pittsburgh is the favorite to win the Stanley Cup according to MGM Resorts International with 7-2 odds.

Roy Halladay
Halladay
5. DUELING ACES: Dueling aces square off on Wednesday Night Baseball on ESPN2, 7 ET as Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies host Josh Johnson and the Miami Marlins. Halladay and Johnson have faced each other three previous times since Halladay joined the Phillies. In those three games, a grand total of six runs were scored, including a perfect game from Halladay on May 29, 2010.

Kobe and Rondo shine on Sunday

February, 13, 2012
2/13/12
12:38
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Kobe Bryant
Bryant
Sunday was a day in which Kobe Bryant made like Magic Johnson and Rajon Rondo made like both Johnson and Larry Bird.

In the afternoon’s first game, Bryant hit the game-winning shot with 4.2 seconds remaining to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 94-92 win over the Toronto Raptors.

It was the 16th time that Bryant hit a game-winning shot in the final five seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime, since his career began in 1996-1997. That’s the most in the NBA in that span- two more than Carmelo Antony.

Rondo raised his game a level in a 95-91 win over the Chicago Bulls, with 32 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds. A check of Basketball-Reference.com shows that he’s the fifth player with a 30-15-10 game since 1990, the other four being Johnson, Jason Kidd, Baron Davis, and LeBron James.

The last Celtic with a 30-15-10 game was Bird against the then-Washington Bullets in April, 1987.

The Boston Celtics have now allowed fewer than 100 points in 25 straight games. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that’s the longest single-season streak by any team since the 2004-05 Bulls (26 straight) and the seventh-longest streak in the shot-clock era, which dates to the 1954-55 season.

The NBA record is 36 straight games, set by the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons.

Elsewhere around the league the Miami Heat blew out the Atlanta Hawks, marking the sixth time this season, the Heat won by at least 20 points. Only the Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers have more blowout wins than Miami. However, the Sixers have been the on the receiving end of two of the Heat's routs.

LeBron James finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for his 106th career-game with 20-10-5. Since 2003, his rookie season, James has the second-most such games behind Kevin Garnett.

Plus-Minus Note of the Night
Washington Wizards guard John Wall finished a +28 in a 98-77 win over the Detroit Pistons. It was the best plus-minus for Wall in his 97-game NBA career.

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